2 Human Quirks, a Rush of Irrationality & Why People Don’t Buy From You

Every time I resolve to eat healthy and then promptly see all my determination melt away in the buttery goodness of warm crusty bread, I realize how weak and irrational human beings are.

Yes, you can leave it to me to blame my carb addiction on the entire human race.

But seriously, we like to think we are all rational, reasonable, stable-minded creatures but are really no worse than Pavlov’s lab mates…. helpless in the hands of our basic human nature…or quirks if you will.

And this post is about two such human quirks that can make your $10,000 site fall flat on its dashboard or turn an obscenely ugly webpage into a million dollar cash churning machine.

Why do these quirks matter so much?

Because human beings have no control over them!

And they aren’t even consciously aware of their existence…which makes them even more lethal.

Ready to find out what these quirks are?

Quirk Number One: Humans can only follow one command or none at all:

I know it’s popular to be a multi-tasking ninja, but the research is clear and conclusive. Human beings actually can’t multi-task well…or at all.

For many years the psychology research has shown that people can only attend to one task at a time.

To be more specific, your brain can attend to only one cognitive task at a time

Yes you can dance and sing at the same time but brain tasks? Not so much

You can either talk or listen

Write or read

Grasp a concept or make a decision

One task at one time

And if the brain is forced to handle 2-3 cognitive tasks simultaneously, it either abandons the tasks all together or does a poor job of all but one.

How this affects your business and what can you do about it?

If you have one of those websites where the home page is a medley of too many things asking for way too many actions, you might be taxing the brain of your visitor to the point where he won’t do anything at all.

Ask them to do one thing and one thing only (sign up, like your page or donate for example). Define your primary objective for each page and just ask for the action that would help achieve that objective.

Nothing else!

Don’t ask them to like, share, subscribe, add to bookmarks or do any of the things that will take the attention away from your primary objective.

Don’t fatigue their brains, period!

Quirk Two: The Bizarre Power of Three:

The Rule of Three suggests that messages that come in threes are inherently more effective than other numbers of things. You can see this principal in action almost everywhere from Goldilocks and 3 bears to the 3 ghosts in Christmas carol and the three blind mice.

Researchers working in the field of decision-making tell us that people can’t effectively choose between more than 3 to 4 items at a time.

How this affects your business and what can you do about it?

If your sales page has 10 different offerings and 5 different payment plans, you are making it almost impossible for the potential buyer to make a decision.

Grouping things in chunks of 3 would make it more brain friendly for the visitors and they would be more likely to explore each group on its own.

For best results you can make categories of offerings based on the problem they solve, chunk your offerings underneath and then use these nifty little tricks to price them so they seem like a bloody steal!

At the end of the day, human beings and their brains crave comfort and ease. If you make a task unnecessarily difficult, the brain would be quick to abandon it even if there are benefits to it.

Websites that adopt this key principal (don’t make the brain do undue work) will always outperform websites that believe in cramming as much information as possible in a web page.


2 Human quirks that kill the sale and how to counter them2 Human quirks that kill the sale and how to counter them #salestips #onlinebusiness #marketingtips #thepersuasionrevolution


  1. Fabiola on December 10, 2015 at 9:16 am

    As usual this is a great post. I love the first lesson. I think sometimes we want to offer up the world to people all at once. I will be updating my cover page for my site today! 🙂

    • bushra.a on December 11, 2015 at 8:57 am

      Hey thanks you fab person you!
      So glad it helps.

  2. Tori on December 11, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I love this post!! It’s refreshing to get common-sense advice to make sales- without sounding like you are a “salesman.”

    • bushra.a on December 15, 2015 at 8:12 am

      Hey thanks so much Tori.

  3. Camilla Hallstrom on January 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Bushra, awesome post!

    You’re right in that customers are served with waay too many options at times. Like, why not just make it as easy as possible for customers to find the required info?! 🙂

    Ps. Fun fact: I’ve read somewhere that multitasking is as bad/worse than smoking marijuana. And no one should want that for their customers.

  4. Carol on January 30, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Smart. Always smart advice. I appreciate this about everything you do.

  5. May on December 18, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Are you offering copy-writing services?

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